The memo just came out — your annual work holiday party is looming on the calendar. While some employees find these soirees a great time to relax and have fun with the people they spend their workdays with, others dread them. There is a fine balance, so here are some tips to get you through the event with a bit of fun and no residual limitations on your career.
It’s mandatory, even if the invitation says it’s not. Those who want to make good with their superiors and coworkers show up, no matter how much they’d rather not go.
Find out the dress code if it’s not included in the invitation and then err on the side of modesty with a touch of your personality. It’s still a business function but doesn’t have to be as formal as business attire. Unless it’s a formal attire dress code, of course.
Eat something small before you go
In case the food is awful or in short supply, or to avoid letting your hunger take control of you and looking like a starving wildebeest in a feeding frenzy.
Only have one drink
Two if you’re having spritzers. We cannot stress how important this is. Movies, memes and YouTube have all found success based on what people do when they drink too much at office parties. Overindulging is the biggest career-killing, never mind limiting, mistake you can make, which isn’t much fun at all once you sober up.
Make the rounds
Talk briefly first to the people you are most friendly with, to put you more at ease. Move around the venue and approach folks you don’t know well but would like to network with and introduce yourself. Make sure you say hello and have a quick chat with anyone standing alone and always at least acknowledge those you can’t stand. It’s politically correct. Be strategic about when you approach your bosses; don’t wait until the end of the night when they might be a little tipsy and not remember the next day that they spoke with you, but don’t look too eager by rushing to converse with them as soon as you arrive.